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Barbara Carey flies to Italy to visit her blind sister Mary Ann, who is studying in a music academy. Once in Rome Barbara discovers her sister has disappeared and, according to the Italian police, she may have been murdered by a maniac who is obsessed with young sightless women. With the help of Martin Foster, from the British Embassy, Barbara starts trying to find out what happened to Mary Ann. She even pretends to be blind herself in an attempt to attract the killer, and finally the clues lead her to Seagull Island, privately owned by a mysterious British citizen named David Malcolm. Barbara must then find the answers to several questions: was Mary Ann really kidnapped? What happened to David's wife and son in the island? And why is David's relative Carol so unhappy to see a woman with him? Written by
The Secret of Seagull Island was, apparently, intended to be a television series originally. Turning a television series into a Giallo doesn't ever seem to work well, as evidenced by Sergio Martino's awful failure The Scorpion with Two Tails and, unfortunately, this film too. The title makes the film sound intriguing; as it hints at a great mystery, and after all, that is what Giallo is all about; but unfortunately, despite a few good moments, the film never delivers on its promise and most of the film is taken up by tedious scenes that don't really go anywhere. The film focuses on Barbara Carey, a woman who goes to Rome to visit her blind sister. However, upon her arrival, she discovers that her sister is missing. The police make some enquiries and think the blind girls' disappearance is linked with a woman drowned in the ocean. Barbara later learns that there is a psychopath on the loose, and he's murdering blind women. She does some investigation of her own, and it leads to a place called Seagull Island...which has a secret.
The best thing about this film is the underwater shots, which were still impressive despite the fact that the copy I saw was only a so-so VHS transfer. The film features quite a lot of scenes that take place underwater and this makes good use of cinematographer Armando Nannuzzi, who specialises in underwater shots. However, the things that happen on dry land are mostly rather boring and it soon becomes apparent that the 'secret' in question is not going to be anything to write home about. The performances are nothing special either. Prunella Ransome (Who Could Kill a Child?) didn't do much for me in the lead role, while the rest of the (mostly British) cast also fail to make any kind of impression. The fact that there's little in the way of murder scenes or gore doesn't exactly help either. The film runs for over one hundred minutes, and this is too long for a film with as little plot as this one. It all builds up to a disappointing ending, which neither surprises the audience nor does enough to generate any interest. Overall, as you can probably guess; I don't recommend The Secret of Seagull Island. There are far better Giallo's out there, and I recommend seeing those instead!
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